September 2021 Cherryland

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September 2021


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative



Battery Up! What’s Next For Renewable Energy Storage?

Building A Brighter Tomorrow With Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Clean Energy Saves Money And The Environment



Lasting is believing.

When you pay good money for something, you think it should last. We agree. Especially when it’s your family’s comfort. The lifespan of even the most expensive conventional a/c is just 15-18 years. With a WaterFurnace geothermal unit, you can expect a lifespan of 25 years—sometimes even more. Plus, the life expectancy of the underground infrastructure is at least double that. Longer unit life means less cost to you and less waste in our landfills. And that makes WaterFurnace the better choice. Geothermal is the only renewable that provides reliable operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your Local WaterFurnace Dealers Bad Axe/Cass City Thumb Clg & Htg (855) 206-5457 thumbcooling Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 Hart Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201

Mancelona Top Notch Htg, Clg, & Geothermal (231) 350-8052 Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 southern-michigan Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665

Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906

Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138

visit us at

The Reliable Renewable is a trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.


September 2021 Vol. 41, No. 8


/michigancountrylines 6 ROAD TRIPPIN' Christal Frost takes us to Ludington with the new all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Seafood: These recipes will be your catch of the day.

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

14 ADVENTURE AWAITS The pandemic inspired a Michigan jeweler to literally bury his livelihood ... much to the delight of treasure seekers throughout the state.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha

18 GUEST COLUMN Grandma's Quilt: Her grandmother's penchant for socking things away and her mother's love provided Tricia Udell with the quilt she'd always longed for.


PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS. Association Officers: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, president and CEO.

CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358


notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.


Are Canadian geese just called geese when they’re in Canada? #repost @corey_niedzwieki

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit

RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit! Up Next: Asian Inspired, due Nov. 1. Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!

Submit your fondest memories and stories at community.

MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.




/cherrylandelectriccoop @cherrylandec BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Schweitzer, President 231-883-5860

Melinda Lautner, Senior Vice President 231-947-2509 Gabe Schneider, Secretary 517-449-6453 Tom Van Pelt, Treasurer 231-386-5234 Terry Lautner, Director 231-946-4623 John Olson, Director 231-938-1228

General Manager: Tony Anderson Co-op Editors: Rachel Johnson, Courtney Doyle

Cherryland Seeks Director Candidates The Cherryland Electric Cooperative Board of Directors is seeking applications to fill the Benzie/Manistee/Wexford County director vacancy. Applicants must be cooperative members whose primary residence is in one of those three counties. The chosen candidate will serve the remainder of the term ending in June 2022. He/she will be eligible to be elected to a three-year term in June. Applications are due Sept. 7, 2021, by 4 p.m. Visit for information on how to apply.

Cherryland Cares Awards $14,830 To Five Nonprofits At its second-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares board awarded grants to five local nonprofit organizations: Michael’s Place, PACE North, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Baby Pantry, Leelanau Christian Neighbors, and the Women’s Resource Center. The funding will help replace inventory and computers after flooding caused serious damage at Michael’s Place, help provide wheelchair support systems at PACE North and serve as emergency gap funding for the Women’s Resource Center. The money will also help meet basic needs and pay for equipment at Leelanau Christian Neighbors and the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Baby Pantry. Cherryland Cares awarded $830 to Leelanau Christian Neighbors and $3,500 to each other nonprofit. In 2021, Cherryland Cares has awarded a total of $37,080 in grants to area nonprofits.

TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.)

The Cherryland Cares board is comprised of five volunteer Cherryland members. The funds distributed by Cherryland Cares result from members electing to round up their monthly bills to the nearest dollar. Members can contribute to the Cherryland Cares fund by calling 231-486-9200, signing up through SmartHub, or emailing us at

PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637

If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, third-quarter grant applications are due Friday, Sept. 10. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.

ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Members Earn Rebates With Energy Efficiency Upgrades Cherryland members are eligible to receive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades in their homes or businesses. Common upgrades include replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs and purchasing Energy Star qualified appliances. For a guide to our residential rebate program and a complete listing of rebates available on Energy Star qualified appliances, visit our website at


Source: Tesla

BATTERY UP! Tony Anderson, General Manager


irst, windmills stepped up to the plate in a big way a couple of decades ago. Although solar has been around a long while, harnessing the sun wasn’t a big hitter until the last several years. Now, we have batteries in the on-deck circle. Obviously, batteries are the perfect complement to wind and solar. When excess energy is not needed in the home, it can be stored in batteries and used when needed during times like a power outage or peak demand period.

future. The high demand for batteries is now driving up the cost of key components like lithium, nickel, and cobalt. Lithium-ion is best optimized for durations up to six hours. There are currently no economical long duration battery storage technologies in the 12- to 72-hour range. In reviewing five different co-op pilot projects across the country, the longest a battery was able to sustain power was four hours. This may get a utility through a small problem—but certainly not a major storm. More utilityscale projects are in progress as the industry tries to push past this time limitation.

Batteries and battery storage have been evolving much like the way LED bulbs have transformed how we light our homes, at least from a “This technology technology level. To be clear, batteries are still very expensive. They won’t be the now gives utilities price of an LED anytime soon!

one more player on the team that will be easier to site, maintain, and run over the long term.”

Powering the average home, including HVAC systems, lights, appliances, TVs, etc., requires a tremendous amount of energy. Going completely off-grid would require a solar array coupled with battery storage that is properly sized to your very specific energy consumption. Because the technology is evolving and battery banks are not readily available, I still don’t think they are cost effective for the average person … yet. Electric vehicles and declining solar panel prices have driven a dramatic increase in development and research in batteries. While the current focus is on commercial/large-scale applications, an impact on residential use is sure to follow. Lithium-ion batteries have become the dominant form for new energy storage installations, thanks to significant cost declines in battery modules, favorable performance characteristics, the flexibility of application, and high energy density. While costs have plummeted in recent years, costs are projected to fall at a slower rate in the

After power outages and peak timeof-day periods, battery storage has the potential to reduce or optimize transmission investment. Batteries placed in the right location could eliminate the need to upgrade or rebuild an aging transmission line. This technology now gives utilities one more player on the team that will be easier to site, maintain, and run over the long term.

Like a designated hitter, cooperatives like yours and other utilities will use future battery storage systems in key situations specific to their needs at the time. Individuals who are able to disregard the rate of return on a battery investment will continue to explore small-scale use as well. It is simply the next step in the evolution of wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy. Batteries clearly solve the biggest drawback of wind and solar—no wind, no sun. They just need to continue to work on the cost and duration issues. Cherryland will continue to monitor the evolution of batteries and storage systems. When the cost and project are right, your cooperative will proudly shout, “BATTERY UP!” and get this player into the game of serving you.



It's Electrifying! Charging up the Mustang at Great Lake Energy's Level 3 fast charging station in Scottsville.



t’s a picturesque Saturday morning in Traverse City as I arrive at Fox Motors to pick up the all-new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. I must admit, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of driving something that didn’t have an engine. Even my vocabulary suffered as I struggled to describe the car to my friends without using terms like “horsepower,” “fuel efficiency,” and “gear shifting.” The fact is, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, like her other electric counterparts, doesn’t have those things. But what the Ford Mustang Mach-E has in spades is moxie. After all, it takes moxie to present the iconic muscle of the Ford Mustang to the masses without the rumble of an engine. But stepping into this car—with its sleek and stylish interior and gorgeous curves—I knew I was stepping into the future of America’s favorite pony. On our latest Road-Trippinʼ episode, a round-trip Traverse City to Ludington adventure, we tested the limits of the Mach-E. Spoiler alert: I’m in love with this car.





A big thank-you to Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Fox Motors for making this test drive possible.

I am talking throw-your-head-back, heart-pumping, instant-smile fast. The Mach-E GT can go from 0–60 in an unbelievable 3.5 seconds, making it the quickest Mustang ever. Its superior acceleration and ability to produce immediate maximum torque truly make electric vehicles the Torque of the Town.


Without the constant vibration of an engine, the Mach-E delivers a downright serene and effortlessly steady ride. Upon returning my borrowed Mustang and getting into my gas-powered ride, I was uniquely aware of every pulse, oscillation, and tremor. The only bumps felt in the Mach-E are on the road, and even those seem softer.


I’ve heard many people remark that electric vehicles might be too quiet, but I don’t see it this way after driving one. Yes, the ride is quiet. It’s supposed to be quiet. Without the revving of the engine, EV drivers are left with a tranquil and relaxed driving experience. Passengers don’t have to speak up to contend with the sounds of a motor. Listening to the radio is easier and, quite frankly, more enjoyable without the competition of shifting gears. Even the quietest combustible engine is no match for the silence of a battery.


Admittedly, the idea of a drained battery worried me. After all, no one wants a road trip to end stranded on the side of the road looking for charging stations. That isn't a problem with the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Depending on the model, the Mach-E has an EPA-estimated battery range of 305 miles. However, thanks to expanded technology and great partnerships with grocery stores and electric cooperatives, fast-charging stations are popping up across the state and beyond. Although we didn’t need the charge, we stopped by Great Lakes Energy in Scottville to check out the charging process at one of its four DC fast-charging stations. The Mustang was nearly fully charged after just 30 minutes. A full charge at a fast charge station has an estimated cost of under $4. Don’t forget to check with your electric co-op about electric car tax credits, incentives, and rebates!

Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country Music-WTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM. She is also a feature columnist for GT Pulse on 9&10 News, published every Friday at 11 a.m.


We enjoyed a wagon ride at the Amber Elk Ranch, which introduced us to hundreds of prize-winning elk and even allowed us to feed them!

Pro Tip: Stay at the ranch to enjoy an incredible BBQ lunch.


The Ludington Waterfront Park offers a playground, breathtaking views of the harbor, and a series of sculptures. These are just a few of the sculptures scattered throughout Ludington, and they make up a part of the Mason County Sculpture Trail.

Fox Grand Traverse Ford, Traverse City

Pro Tip: Grab dinner to go in nearby downtown Ludington and enjoy incredible sunsets from the park!


Retail stores and restaurants abound in downtown Ludington, and you can find everything you’re looking for at

Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Grawn

Pro Tip: Whenever you’re in

Ludington, don’t forget to check out Ludington State Park!



• Ludington Waterfront Park • Downtown Ludington • Ludington State Park


Great Lakes Energy, Scottville

See the FORD MUSTANG MACH-E in Action

Christal Frost filmed her adventure, now available on

10 Amber Elk Ranch


Jan, pictured here with her kindergarten students, continues to empower students to read—— even in her retirement.



Imagination is a powerful tool. A tool grown-ups can forget to use from time to time. Nobody knows that better than Cherryland member and retired kindergarten teacher Jan Engle. For 40 years, Engle spent her time nourishing young minds as they prepared for all the adventures life has to offer. An important part of that preparation was reading. “There’s research that proves a library of books, handy for a child at their home, has a huge impact on their school readiness and their academic achievement all through school,” she explained.

“The most important thing is to read to young children.” Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library became a way Engle could still make sure kids in the Grand Traverse region have access to those books, even after she stopped—all together now—“working 9 to 5.” With help from the Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City, Engle and others started the area’s affiliation with the nonprofit program in 2016. The Imagination Library sources and sends books to registered children from birth to 5 years old, free of charge, with the help of local affiliates all over the globe. Engle and a board of 16 others volunteers its time to offer the program in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Kalkaska counties. Engle explained, “Local affiliates are charged with basically two things. They’re charged with raising the money to pay for the books and registering children.” The program’s headquarters in Tennessee takes care of the rest—sourcing and sending the books. But it’s not just about getting books in the hands of local children. It’s empowering them to take pride and ownership of these books in hopes of fostering a lifelong love of reading. “The reason why I, as a retired kindergarten teacher, love this program is that the books don’t go to the

parents. The books go to the child. They go directly to the child, in their name. A package arrives in their mailbox once a month, addressed to them. It’s their book, and that’s the power,” said Engle. Engle says the Grand Traverse Region affiliate has some goals it’s working toward as a fairly young program. It hopes to continue growing and expanding—reaching children in ZIP codes it hasn’t had the resources to just yet. In Grand Traverse County alone, the affiliate serves 876 children in five ZIP codes. That’s about 18% of the eligible population. A number it’d like to see is closer to 60%. It hopes to serve every ZIP code in the county eventually and even expand into Antrim County. To do that—it needs funding. Funding comes from generous, local donors. “We don’t exist without the assistance of people who are willing to understand the benefit of early literacy and support it,” Engle explained. At the end of the day, Engle says, “The most important thing is to read to young children.” What they’ll accomplish is proof—that a little imagination goes a long way.

For information on how to donate or register your child, go to:



MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


Fresh and light recipes from under the sea.



Deb Finedell, Great Lakes Energy 24 2 • 2 2 2



energy bill credit!


Asian Inspired due Nov. 1

Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Submit your recipe at, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to

ounces cream cheese, softened tablespoons mayonnaise zest of 1 lemon tablespoons lemon juice tablespoons horseradish sauce pounds cooked salmon, chopped (or use canned, drained)

In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, and horseradish sauce. Stir very well until combined. Fold in the fish and stir again to combine. Serve immediately. This recipe makes about 4 cups of dip. Adjust recipe accordingly for smaller serving sizes. Enjoy!

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at


Lynne Oosterhouse, Great Lakes Energy 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets Marinade: ½ cup soy sauce 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons lemon juice 4 teaspoons sugar Wasabi sauce: ½ cup mayo 2 teaspoons soy sauce


Cheryl O’Brien, Great Lakes Energy 1 • • ¹⁄ ³ to ½ 1 • •

pound salmon filets Old Bay seasoning salt and pepper, to taste cup mayonnaise 16-ounce jar Chi Chi’s salsa parmesan cheese mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon lemon 2 teaspoons wasabi powder Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the salmon for 2 hours. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add fish and marinade; cook 3 minutes. Turn fish over. Reduce heat to medium; cook 8 minutes or until fish is done. Combine the wasabi sauce ingredients and serve with the salmon.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut salmon into 2-inch squares and spread them on the bottom of 9x13 pan. Sprinkle generously with Old Bay seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread thinly with mayonnaise. Pour Chi Chi’s salsa over all. Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake 45 minutes. Serve over rice if desired. This recipe became a regular on our menu during the summer tournament season. Enjoy!


Sandy Bartels, Great Lakes Energy Marinade: • zest of 1 lime 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil • pinch of salt and pepper Salsa: 4 radishes, finely sliced ½ cup red onion, finely chopped 4 green onions, finely sliced ¾ cup red cabbage, finely chopped 1 medium fresh tomato, finely chopped • chopped cilantro or parsley 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil Crema: ¹⁄ ³ cup sour cream 1 tablespoon lime juice Tacos: 1 pound mild white fish 4 corn tortillas 1 avocado, sliced • bottled hot sauce, if desired • jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped, if desired

Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Lay fish flat in a glass pan and pour marinade over; turn a few times to coat. Let rest 10 minutes, then turn over and let rest for another 10 minutes. While the fish is marinating, prepare the salsa. In a medium bowl, add the radishes, red and green onions, cabbage, tomato, and cilantro/parsley. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil and stir to coat; set aside. To prepare the crema, mix the sour cream and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a small bowl and set aside. Next, char the tortillas: Spray a skillet lightly with vegetable spray over medium heat and place the tortillas in the pan, one at a time, and move them around the pan. Turn to char both sides, remove from pan, and set aside. Add a bit of olive oil to the skillet and keep over medium heat. Put a tablespoon or two of the marinade in the pan, cook about a minute, and then add the fish. Cook about 5 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Flip and cook another 3–4 minutes until fish is flaky, but not dry. Transfer fish to a plate and cool for 1 or 2 minutes, and cut into chunks. Assemble the tacos on top of the tortillas. Lay thin slices of avocado on each tortilla, add fish, and top with salsa. Add crema and hot sauce and/or jalapeño peppers if desired. Enjoy. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Cherryland linemen and bucket trucks framed Turtle Creek Stadium, this year’s venue for our return to an in-person Annual Meeting. Members line up to register ahead of the business meeting and Traverse City Pit Spitters’ baseball game.

Two directors were re-elected to the Cherryland board at the Annual Meeting. Members of all ages came out to enjoy a beautiful evening at the ballpark!

A birds-eye view of the ballpark––look closely and you can see the board dressed in red on top of the dugout!

A Grand Slam 83rd Annual Meeting For Cherryland! 12 SEPTEMBER 2021

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT Electricity is becoming cleaner every day and can save consumers money on their energy costs over time.

Did you know…

Since 2005, the carbon emissions from producing electricity have decreased, on average, by 28%.1 Did you know…

Electricity is getting cleaner and more renewable, so anything that uses electricity will have a diminishing environmental impact over time. Did you know…

Electric vehicles are highly efficient, converting around 77% of their power into movement. Gas-powered vehicles only convert 12% to 30%.2 1. 2.



While the global pandemic offered its fair share of disappointments and loss, one couple opted to mine for the treasure in the mayhem and offer up a rainbow at the end of the storm. As a second-generation jeweler, apprenticed by his father, Johnny Perri always had an eye for treasure. An avid metal detector and admitted “eccentric,” Perri has always looked for adventure, as well as the silver lining in life. “Losing the rhythm of life and work had me in a real funk,” admits Perri. “I was going out of my mind a little.” Then, a bit of exciting news. Perri happened across an article about famed Santa Fe treasure hider Forest Fenn, who supposedly hid his treasure many years ago, with thousands of folks looking for it over the years. The article revealed that someone had finally found it.


with JOHNNY’S TREASURE QUEST By Emily Haines Lloyd

“’We should do that,’ I thought,” said Perri, first to himself, then aloud to his then-fiancé, now wife, Amy. “It was that simple, that wild. What if I hid everything from the jewelry store? Buried it? And then came up with riddles and clues for people to go out and find it?” With this simple but possibly crazy idea, Johnny and Amy spent the next several weeks driving around the state, basically dropping Perri’s entire livelihood into the ground (eventually replaced with GPS“infused” wooden X’s) to quite literally mark the spot where the treasure could be found. The couple created their website and let the world know that buried fortune was

just a treasure hunt away. The excitement and outpouring of interest was almost as improbable as a guy burying his life’s work in the ground. “People are as excited as we are,” said Perri. “Who hasn’t dreamed of uncovering a mystery or something valuable? It’s such a thrill.” Each quest is located in a different county in Michigan, with a private Facebook group for ticket holders and the perfect amount of Sherlock Holmeslevel sleuthing and Indiana Jones outdoor adventuring. The Perris recently expanded their treasure quests with a “Silver Ticket” hunt a la Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which was a fun extension for seekers.

"It’s the

memories that

people make when they’re out on the hunt. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”

The operation is still small and tightly knit, with a core of treasure buriers and administrators equally passionate about the process and keeping the surprises coming. “We’re so lucky to have the team we have, and I just can’t imagine doing anything else right now,” said Perri. “It’s so much fun for us to see the excitement in other people’s faces as they head out or come back from an adventure.” Those interested in embarking on just such an adventure can visit and look for an open treasure hunt. Then buy your ticket and prepare for an adventure. “What we’ve come to realize is, yes, the treasure might be the immediate draw,” said Perri. “But it’s not about that, really. It’s the memories that people make when they’re out on the hunt. I couldn’t ask for more than that.”

START your QUEST /johnnystreasurequest @johnnys_treasure_quest




Water 1. Summer nights on Green Lake—Andy Marek  2. Lake Michigan shore!—Amy Morley  3. Summer joy—Karen Riley  4. The marina—Toni Leaf-Odette  5. Water’s nice, let’s go play!—Cammie Freeman

Most votes on Facebook!


3 Enter to win a


energy bill credit!



Submit Your “Santa” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our September theme is Santa! Photos can be submitted through September 20 to be featured in our November/December issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest, visit or visit cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2021, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2021 bill. 16 SEPTEMBER 2021


Notice to Members of Cherryland Electric Cooperative Case No. U-16591 2020 Renewable Energy Plan Annual Report Summary Michigan law required all Michigan electric utilities to get at least 12.5% of their power supply from renewable sources during 2020.

Your Board In Action June Board Meeting • Following Cherryland’s 83rd Annual Meeting and recent board elections, the board held its annual reorganization meeting. It approved the following board members for new roles: - - - -

President: David Schweitzer Senior Vice President: Melinda Lautner Secretary: Gabe Schneider Treasurer: Tom Van Pelt

• The board reviewed this year’s Annual Meeting at Turtle Creek Stadium. There were 944 members in attendance, and nearly 3,600 members voted in the board election. Members had positive reviews about their experience at the ballpark and voting online for the board election. One member said, “I love that we can do this online when we log in to pay our monthly bill. Thank you!” • Cherryland’s chief financial officer reported a drop in energy sales for the month of May due to cooler temperatures. However, he explained an increase in positive trends for commercial and industrial members compared to last year. Residential accounts continue to show increases from the previous year as well. Overall, total margins are running slightly under budget, but Cherryland maintains a strong financial position.

Under this requirement, Cherryland Electric Cooperative submitted an annual report to the MPSC regarding its Renewable Energy Plan. In 2020, Cherryland acquired a total of 52,237 renewable energy credits and 994 incentive credits. All credit transfers were directed through Cherryland’s wholesale power supplier, Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc. Wolverine will continue to generate renewable energy and bank unused renewable energy credits for future use and compliance with statutory renewable portfolio standard requirements on behalf of all of its members. A full copy of the cooperative’s Renewable Energy Plan annual report that was filed with the MPSC is available on the cooperative’s website at or by request at any of the cooperative’s offices or at

Public Act 295: The Clean Renewable and Efficient Energy Act 2020 Annual Energy Waste Reduction Report

July Board Meeting

Cherryland Electric Cooperative

• The board began reviewing Cherryland’s bylaws for any potential updates or necessary changes. This is a process that happens every few years to keep the language up to date.

MPSC Case Number U-20381

• Cherryland’s safety director reported that six months after implementing Cherryland’s new virtual safety training platform, employees have successfully completed 670 online trainings. • The management team updated the board on strategic staffing and succession plans. Members have the opportunity to provide input to the board prior to any regularly scheduled board meeting. To have your comments included in a monthly board packet for review, please submit them to Board Assistant Secretary Shannon Mattson at a minimum of three business days before the monthly board meeting.

During 2020, Cherryland Electric Cooperative administered its own Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) plan in order to comply with PA-295. Previously, Cherryland submitted its EWR plan with the MPSC. This EWR plan was approved by the MPSC, and Cherryland began implementing the 2020 EWR Plan. Cherryland implemented all residential, commercial, and industrial programs and self-certified the kWh savings. The full report can be obtained at your cooperative’s headquarters. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

Guest Column

Grandma’s Quilt

By Tricia Udell, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member


y paternal grandmother was a talented woman whose greatest pride was taking care of her family. Her recipes remain family favorites, and the quilts she made for family members have blanketed them with love for years. I was always a bit jealous of my older siblings, who each had one of these quilts on their beds. I never got one, though, because my grandmother passed away from cancer when I was a toddler. When I was 11, my grandpa was getting ready to move out of the family home. I looked through all of the rooms remembering the times spent there, taking in the smells and sights. My grandma was a saver, and in the back bedroom closet, I had found the honey hole of my grandma’s stash! A true vintage ’60s and ’70s collection, olive greens and golden yellows, and bold flower patterns. Among these assorted and varied fabrics, I found a quilt top! Imagine my excitement to see something she had made buried like a lost treasure. A crazy quilt stitched from small, tiny scraps of fabric. I could even see some of the same patterned pieces that were in my siblings’ quilts. I snagged that quilt top right up. I stored the quilt in a plastic bag and stuck it in my closet. Decades later, while cleaning, my parents come across this plastic bag, and to my mom’s surprise, she finds the quilt top with a scribbled child’s handwritten note that reads “from Grandpa Howard 1984.” She is astounded at the find, we look at all the little pieces, and my dad has memories, “That piece is from Mom’s apron, and this is from a dress she wore.” Have you ever had that “filled up” moment when you feel all warm inside with happiness? I had that. My dad encouraged my mom to finish the project because he knew how much it meant to me. What a surprise on Christmas when I received the finished quilt as a gift. The quilt top is estimated to be over 45 years old, thread wears out, and material deteriorates. She painstakingly preserved each stitch. The quilt is a treasure! A combined project of my grandmother and my mom. I truly believe the adage, “Those who sleep under a quilt sleep under a blanket of love.”

Win a


energy bill credit!

Tricia is a member of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. She enjoys spending time with family, staying busy on her hobby farm, and quilting.

WIN $150!

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit to submit.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by Sept. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at July/August 2021 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Paul Malhoit, a HomeWorks Tri-County Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods, Indian River. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.

It Pays for Itself


Your financing cost and the cost to heat with Well-Connect is typically less than your current cost.




“Well-Connect is one of the best investments we’ve ever made. We are able to maintain our home at a warm and comfortable temperature during the cold months. Likewise, during the warmer months, the added benefit of the air conditioning keeps our home nice and cool. The best part is we are spending significantly less on our energy costs to have a more comfortable home."



- Aaron & Dawn Hamp, PIE&G member “When I could no longer physically cut 20 cords of wood, I installed a Well-Connect. The system has met all claims and surprised me. If people are heating and cooling with propane, fuel oil, or wood and have their own well, they have a need and don't realize it. That need is to cut those heating & cooling costs by at least half (as well as emissions). As for cooling, it has cost us $9 to cool this month (July)!!”

- Jess Steed, Cherryland Electric member

IT PAYS FOR ITSELF The cost to finance and heat with a Well-Connect is typically less than your current heating cost.

HOW DOES THE SYSTEM WORK? Attaches to your home’s existing heating system, it does not replace it. Delivers 90% on average of your home’s heating needs and 100% of your home’s cooling needs. If you have a well, simply add a Well-Connect to reduce your heating costs associated with traditional energy sources while enjoying a more comfortable home. Installs in a day.


Moola for your back pocket. We’re giving you money for purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

Learn more at and claim your rebate.

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